Chandylen Nightingale Successfully Defends Dissertation

Published: July 21st, 2014

Category: Department Life, Student News

Chandylen NightingaleChandylen Nightingale recently defended her dissertation and will start a postdoctoral fellowship at Wake Forest School of Medicine in the fall.

A life-long gator, Chandy received her B.S. in psychology and MPH degree also from UF. The focus for her PhD was on oncologic quality of life (QOL) with Dr. Giselle Carnaby as her advisor. Her research has mostly focused on quality of life issues for patients with head & neck cancer (HNC) and their informal caregivers.

Chandy began studying QOL in HNC patients during her MPH degree. When she transitioned to the PhD program she broadened her research to take into consideration the caregiver as well, knowing that they are a critical component to the patient’s overall well-being. Shortly after beginning her PhD, Chandy conducted a pilot study on this topic for her dissertation research which was funded by the CDC and SOPHE.

Her prior research pertaining to HNC patient and caregiver QOL provided the basis for her dissertation research. Building off of her previous work, Chandy wanted to again broaden her focus to evaluate the biological impact on the caregiver as well, specifically the psychoneuroendocrine impact. She evaluated the relationship between psychosocial issues (QOL, caregiver burden, social support) among the patient-caregiver dyad and the caregiver’s physiological response (via cortisol).

This fall Chandy will begin a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer survivorship at Wake Forest School of Medicine in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences. The fellowship is funded through a NCI R25T grant which places an emphasis on the trainee developing or refining their own program of research.

As a first generation college student, Chandy never took her education and experience at UF for granted.

Chandy had this to say about her time here:

The faculty and my colleagues in the BSCH Department have been so supportive, and I feel fortunate to have been able to be a part of the department. As I reflect on my academic experience, I also know that I would not have been able to accomplish everything without the support and love from my family.

We offer sincerest congratulations and wish Chandy all the best in the next steps of her research career!